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Nearly a decade after Amazon launched its Kindle Unlimited service that lets you pay a monthly fee for access to a library of millions of eBooks (and a smaller number of audiobooks), rival Kobo is following suit by expanding its Kobo Plus subscription service to the US and UK.

At launch Kobo says that readers will be able to access over 1.3 million eBooks or over 100 thousand audiobooks for $8 per month… or pay $10 per month for an eBook & audiobook subscription.

Kobo

By comparison, Amazon says Kindle Unlimited provides access to more than 3 million eBooks, audiobooks, and digital comics and magazines. But it’s worth keeping in mind that both services offer a small fraction of all the eBooks and audiobooks available for purchase from their respective stores. So I’d suggest signing up for a free trial and looking around to see if there’s enough content you want to read to figure out whether it’s worth paying for a subscription. You cab

That said, if you read or listen to more than a book or two a month, the service might very well pay for itself. Just keep in mind that these Netflix-for-books services have the same drawback as actual Netflix: if you stop paying, you lose access to the entire content library. Books aren’t yours to keep (although you could make the case that’s also true for books you “buy” from any store that includes DRM).

Still, it’s nice to have a bit more competition in the subscription eBook and audiobook space, especially for folks who aren’t already locked into Amazon’s Kindle ecosystem.

Kobo Plus subscribers can use the service with Kobo eReaders or by using Kobo’s apps for iOS or Android. The company says that while you need an internet connection to download eBooks, you can save and read up to 15 Kobo Plus books for offline reading, although you’ll need to re-connect to the internet to keep reading if you haven’t been online in the for more than 30 days.

press release

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